Two rare Orchids and a couple of new Butterflies.
After the aborted visit last weekend, we tried to find a market (which we did at Santa Fe) and then go up into the hills for the Orchid species that I had missed the last time. The market was busy but enjoyable, we piked up some nice fresh fruit and veg from on of the many stalls.
We then headed off into the mountains to the same site for the Red Helleborine's (Cephalanthera rubra) as we were at last weekend when the car throw a wobbly with the steering. The same 15 or so plants were flowering but slightly past their best. Also flowering here were Polygala boissieri, Bladder Vetch (Anthyllis tetraphylla), Aphyllanthes monspliensis and Salvia lavandulifolia. The next stop was a little further along the track where I left Jayne reading near the car while I did the couple of Kms along a private track to the site for the Algerian Butterfly Orchid (plantanthera algeriensis). I arrived to find that the Robust Marsh Orchids (Dactylorhiza elata) and Common Twayblades (Listera ovata) seen on my last visit with Juan were going or had gone over but the Butterfly Orchids were perfect. I counted at least 25 plants , most of which were around 30cm tall and had around a dozen or so flowers. Also flowering was Thalictrum speciosissimum.
Butterflies were also abundant at the site and on the walk down and they included two new species for my list, Mother of Pearl Blue (Plebicula nivescens) and High-brown Fritillary (Argynnis adippe). The others were Cardinal Fritillary (argynnis Pandora), Cleopatra (Cleopatra / Gonepteryx cleopatra), Clouded Yellow (Colias crocea), Black-veined White (Aporia crataegi), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Grayling (Hipparchia semele), Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina ssp hispulla), Spanish Gatekeeper (Lobito listado / Pyronia bathsheba), Scarce Swallowtail (Chupaleches / Iphiclides podalirius feisthameli), Wood White (Leptidea sinapis), Spanish Marbled White (Melanargia ines), Bath White (Pontia daplidice), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria) and Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris). Common Golden Ringed Dragonfly (Cordulegaster boltonii subsp algirica) was again on site but as usual avoided the camera with greta timing and skill. I had not taken my bins with me but I picked up Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Woodlark (Totovia / Lullula arborea), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Subalpine Warbler (Curruca Carrasquena / Sylvia cantillans), Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Robin (Petirrrojo / Erithacus rubecula), Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea), Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus) and Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla) on the way.
Photographs from the top: 2x Algerian Butterfly Orchid (plantanthera algeriensis), Thalictrum speciosissimum, Mother of Pearl Blue (Plebicula nivescens) and High-brown Fritillary (Argynnis adippe).